Thursday, August 18, 2011

If I was a kid, this would be the time of year I would dread--end of summer break and back-to-school time. But if you're an underprivileged kid, you have bigger reasons to worry about going back to school. Thankfully, there are several organizations and companies in Charlotte that are giving their time and resources to help make getting back into the classroom an easier, happier, and more exciting time for all children, fortunate or less fortunate.

Here are a few events and causes you should support by bringing your kids (or neighbors' kids) or by making donations.

 Saturday, August 20

School Tools Postal Collection Day
All month long, WSOC-TV's 9 Family Focus, in partnership with Communities In Schools and Classroom Central, has been leading a community outreach project to collect school supplies for children. And this Saturday, you can contribute and barely have to leave your house. U.S. Postal Service letter carriers will collect school supplies left at residential mail boxes on August 20. Supplies donated in your county will stay in your county and help local children succeed in school. Participating counties are: Mecklenburg, Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lancaster, Lincoln, Richmond, and Rowan. Click here for a full list of participating zip codes,

Back-to-School Festival at Druid Hills Academy
Now expanded from a K-5 to a K-8 school, Druid Hills hosts this annual event Saturday to welcome students back by providing a fun-filled day of games, prizes, food, and more. It will also unite the school's community partners and allow them to display the many resources they provide for local families. Several community organizations, faith-based groups, and local businesses are participating, including: Altrusa International of Charlotte (primary sponsor), the Johnston YMCA, Carolinas Medical Center, Domino's Pizza, Rita's Italian Ice, Power 98 FM, Charlotte Children's Choir, Communities In Schools, A Child's Place, Smart Start, Target, CMPD, and more. If you have any questions, contact Joseph Allen, CIS site coordinator at Druid Hills Academy, 980-343-5515, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Druid Hills Academy, 2801 Lucena St.,

Family Options Fair
This event provides a fun family atmosphere where the community can learn about organizations that are available to provide mentoring, tutoring, after-school programs, life skills, and leadership development for the youth in the Charlotte area. Participating organizations include: the City of Charlotte, Urban League, YMCA, CMPD, Girl Talk Foundation, and more. There will be free pizza from Mr. Jim’s Pizza and other refreshments. And No Grease Barber Shop will be giving out vouchers for free haircuts. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet local elected and public officials. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Stratford Richardson YMCA, 1946 West Blvd.,

Monday, August 22

Cuttin' Class - Community Hair Cutting and School Supply Day Presented by The IT Factor Media Group, LLC and No Grease Barber Shop, I've seen this annual event do great things for the community for about three years now. On Monday, they're giving back to the children in the community by providing free haircuts, school supplies, and 1,000 book bags to school-age children in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. Plus, Charlotte Bobcats forward Tyrus Thomas and New Jersey Nets shooting guard Anthony Morrow will be on-site during the event to sign autographs and take pictures with the children. Complimentary refreshments will be served. For more details, contact Felisha Fletcher, The IT Factor Media Group, 919-247-5973, 1-7 p.m. Free; RSVP requested for large organizations. No Grease Barber Shop, 1531 Central Ave.,

Charlotte Contributes: Project Classroom Come out Monday, have a drink, mix and mingle, and don't forget to bring some school supplies. This charity event for Classroom Central is asking for pencils, pens, one-subject notebooks, dry-erase markers, glue sticks, construction paper, index cards, colored pencils, magic markers, etc. Bring any of the following needed supplies and Charlotte Contributes will buy you a draft beer. Email if you have any questions. 6 p.m. Free. Top Shelf Rooftop Bar at Whiskey Warehouse, 1221 The Plaza,,


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